Bland is Beautiful

I love fish. I love to look at fishes and - poor old things - I love to eat them too. I should have been a fisherman (or fisherwoman). I am the idiot who stares at the fish counter moved to tears by the beauty of a mackerel's stripes or a trout's rainbow scales. I get funny looks from the fishmonger on many occasions because of it.

I am not so fascinated by pieces of fish on display: it is the whole fishes I love. Fishes are beautiful creatures to my eyes and I don't mind munching my way through mouthfuls of fishbones to get to their exquisite flavour. Interestingly, eating whole fishes such as sardines, herrings, mackerels or even trouts, is very good for the brain. It's the old Omega 3 oils that work wonders on our grey matter. It is as if my brain was asking for fish as a way to help it with its recovery. And so, as rule, I eat a lot of fish and I enjoy it......

....... Until I don't feel so well. As soon as my energy level dips below a certain point my appetite for food changes completely. On those days, I could not eat fish if it were presented to me on a silver platter. I cannot eat meat either. In fact I can't eat anything except ......... semolina!!!!! How weird is that?!? What the heck has semolina got to do with my energy levels? What is it about semolina that must suddenly be eaten?

There's got to be something there that we have yet to understand because my body is very consistent, to the point where I have come to call these down days Semolina Days. The warm baby food-like consistency of semolina is obviously comforting to me but there are lots of other things I can think of that would feel/taste the same or similar: porridge or any other hot cereal, mashed potatoes, warm milky drinks, etc. But no, it's got to be semolina.

When I mentioned this semolina addiction of mine to my dietician who specialises in mental health nutrition, she was not at all fazed. Her view is that the body/brain is very good at asking for what it needs and that it is best to go along with it (providing of course that I don't eat semolina exclusively for days on end). As a result, I have become much more relaxed about my occasional forays into semolina land and I take semolina in my stride - that's got to be better than wading through treacle!

One obvious thing about semolina is that it is bland. As a word, bland does not convey much dazzling excitement - and that could be the key. It could well be that on my 'low' days I need a food that doesn't stimulate too much response from my taste buds. Bland is easy on the mouth and easy on the stomach. Bland is good when there isn't much energy to spare.

Now all I need to do next time I have a Semolina Day is stick a strawberry on top of my bowl.

That way, even if I don't manage to eat the strawberry my bland semolina will be beautiful :0)

PS: I wonder what would happen of I mashed up some fish into my semolina? Nah... I don't think 'fishy semolina' would ever catch on (even it could be caught, ha! ha!).....

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What is semonila? I have never heard of this term. I too love fish and I am bipolar also. I was diagnosed just over 10 years ago. I find the key to beating this disorder is acceptance and know your main triggers. Avoiding stress definitely helps on most occassions.

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